How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73813
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

We bought a 2011 car on 31-5-21. Within 1 mile the car was

Customer Question

We bought a 2011 car on 31-5-21. Within 1 mile the car was giving out white and blue smoke, we rang the seller (small trader) but he suggested it was a cold engine. The car had done just 16 miles when it broke down and had to be RAC recovered. Technician thinks it had been overfilled by x2 with oil. The engine is now seized. We contacted the trader to ask for a refund and he is refusing. Where do we go next? Thanks
JA: Where is this? And just to clarify, when was the purchase made?
Customer: Yesterday morning - Halifax, West Yorkshire
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Vehicle has been recovered to our drive - needs a new engine or re-build. Messaged the seller through FB where we bought it, and he has made many excuses and refuses to accept any liability
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 days ago.

What reason has the seller provided for not wanting to give you a refund?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
He said that he wrote sold as seen on the receipt, and that we knew the car needed timing belt changing (within the next 3,000 miles) and we got it cheap - even though the fault was nothing to do with this.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

When a private consumer buys a vehicle from a dealer, they have certain 'statutory' rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. If you wanted to refer to the legislation directly, please follow this link:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents/enacted

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 specifically states that there is an expectation that goods must be:

- of satisfactory quality – they must not be faulty or damaged

- as described – they must match any description given at the time of purchase

- fit for purpose – they should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for

If the vehicle does not meet any the above requirements, the buyer will have certain legal remedies against the seller. It is, however, important to note that there is no protection against fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage.

If the vehicle does not meet any of the above criteria, the consumer’s rights against the seller are:

1. Reject the vehicle and request a refund – this is known as the ‘short-term right to reject’ and must be applied within 30 days of purchase or, if later, delivery.

2. Repair or replacement – this is still an option in the first 30 days, if the consumer does not want a refund and becomes the standard options after the 30 days have passed. It is the consumer’s choice as to whether they choose a repair or a replacement. If a repair is chosen, the seller is given one opportunity to provide a satisfactory repair, meaning that if it fails, the vehicle can still be rejected for a refund, even after the initial 30 days have passed. Alternatively, if the consumer wants to keep the vehicle, they can ask for a price reduction, based on what is wrong with it. That is something to be negotiated with the seller.

In the event that a refund is issued, the seller is legally able to deduct an amount to reflect the usage costs incurred whilst the vehicle was in the buyer’s possession, such as the extra mileage on the car. Any amount deducted for that must be reasonable and fair.

An important aspect of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 is that there is an assumption that any issues complained of, which have become obvious or developed within the first 6 months of buying the vehicle, were present at the time of purchase. If the seller disagrees that his was the case, it would be up to them to prove otherwise, if challenged in court. On the other hand, any issues which develop more than 6 months after purchase, are assumed not to have originated at the point of sale and it is for the buyer to prove otherwise if challenged in court.

Once a decision has been made on which of the above rights to pursue, the seller should be contacted, preferably in writing, to discuss that with them. If they refuse to discharge their legal obligations under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, a formal letter before action should be sent, asking for the desired resolution and making it clear that legal action could follow through the courts.

In the event this matters needs to be taken further, the following are the relevant links:

A report to Trading Standards can be submitted first: https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=general&to=flare.fromforms

Afterwards, a claim can be pursued in The County Court: https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.